Saturday, 29 December 2018

From PeteF: Old School Minifigs French Ligne (120 points)

I could almost copy and paste my first Minifigs post from Challenge VIII. Painting these old school best-scale-of-all Minifigs is always a pleasure and takes me back to my first wargaming adventures. Around forty years ago I met my best friend through wargaming and my brother and I used to take over the dining room table for days.

Why Minifigs when there are so many lovely new sculpts coming onto the market? Well, I inherited my dad's Anglo-Allied army which I am basing and preparing for some kind of giant game. On the Anglo Allied side I have nearly the whole hundred days army but I only have a few boxes of French. As far as I can tell Napoleon had about 50 regiments of ligne - with 2 or 3 battalions each - so these guys are just a drop in the bucket. But the bucket is slowly filling.

I did manage to pick up a bunch of artillery from a guy in New Zealand this year - and I think he may also have some infantry to add to the armee. If you have any old Minifigs knocking around...

Grenadier company

I enjoy the chunkiness of the Minifigs sculpts - it more than makes up for the lack of variety in poses  and uniforms/hats/equipment by today's standards. I did try doing a few conversions in metal, but it ended up being more trouble than it was worth.

Twenty four 25mm - I think we count them as 28mm for points - at 5 points each for a 120 point battalion.  And one point on the Squirrel Duel.

Skirmishers out

Ahh, more figures for 'The Beautiful Game' and old school Minifigs to boot - tremendous stuff, Pete. The painting is nice and clean, which is not too hard with these sculpts as they are much the same. I remember this project from last year and am happy to hear that you found some more recruits in the interim. I hope your posts this year might net you additional reinforcements for Boney's force as I'd love to see this vision quest come into reality. 

This battalion of French line will give you 120 points. Great work Pete!

From NoelW: Running late as always... (76 points)

My first post for Challenge IX is five days later than I'd planned, but at least it's a start. These are 15 Sudanese from the Mahdist wars in the late C19th. Figures by the Perrys, of course.

This regiment is my second Sudanese regiment, and completes the Egyptian army for the Sudan that I've been working on for about five years! Both this unit and the previous Sudanese unit have been given the dark blue winter jackets, whereas my Egyptian units in the same army have the white summer uniform. I took this decision partly because I like to have variety of uniforms wherever plausible, and partly to distinguish between Sudanese and Egyptian forces in that army, as the former are supposedly of slightly better fighting quality.

My painting style for these is relatively simple - the idea was always to get the army onto the table as quickly as I could, whilst presenting a reasonable appearance. I managed to get three quarters of the figures painted before being lured by some other seductive project, and now I simply want to get the remnants onto the field. Er - desert. So I've painted them to match the earlier force. I think if I was starting this project again, I might have done things a little differently.

In Challenge VIII I had quite a struggle getting reasonable photos. I'm not much of a photographer, but I also don't have much of a camera, and no lighting set-up. So, for my birthday, just before Christmas, my wife kindly agreed to buy a decent digital camera. (Nothing to do with her desire to record every Burne Jones stained glass window in the UK). And our first "proper" lens, a macro lens to allow close up work. So these three photos are my first attempt to use this new equipment. Clearly, I need some more experiments. Lighting remains a concern (there are too many shadows here) and depth of field will be an issue, clearly, in getting good closeup shots. Hopefully I'll be learning and improving as the challenge progresses.

Still, I clamber onto the table with fifteen 28mm infantry = 75 points.


It's great to have you back to the Challenge, Noel. 

These Egyptians are wonderful. The dark navy blue jacket, with brass buttons and glorious fez really is a sharp uniform (Actually, anything with a fez get's my vote - I really wish they would come back into fashion...). :) 

Have fun with your new camera, Noel. Macro lens? Sounds like a beauty. As a suggestion for your lighting setup, place a diffused light source straight above the subject and perhaps one slightly oblique from your shooting angle - that should help to reduce shadows. Diffused light is the key as I find it helps tone down any harsh bright spots on the figures caused by direct lighting.

76 points (including one for their banner) to break your duck - Great work Noel!

From PaulSS: A muddle of miscellany (25 Points)

Today's entry appears to be a single post attempt to dominate the Squirrel duel, but it's been a great opportunity to paint up some of those show specials that have been hanging around at home.

Earlier this year chum Martin sent me the show figure from 'The Other Partizan MMXVIII' titled Dulce et decorum est... The Great War 1914-1918 sculpted by Martin Baker.

I based it on a 40mm Renedra round and then added some planking made from balsa wood to simulate the floor of a dug-out. The covered bucket is from a Great Escape Games 'fist full of baggage pack' Likely a temporary latrine, but probably not best to think about that!

The paint job was rather simple, mainly English Uniform, Khaki and Reflective Green. All washed then highlighted and then brown-lined with Windsor & Newton Peat Brown ink.

Another Partizan show figure done this week is Mary Seacole, Crimean War Nurse from 'The Other Partizan MMXVI'. Mate Lee is emigrating to Australia and found it while he was tidying for the move and sent it over for me a few weeks ago.

Like all of the Partizan show figures it's a great sculpt with bags of character and was a really easy paint job to execute. The main colours being Flat Green and Royal Blue. After blocking in the base-coats it was washed with Army Painter Strong Tone then the colours re-applied and highlighted then finished off with a brown-lining with Windsor & Newton Peat Brown.

The third figure in this group is a Medieval Royal Maiden - Correction: Maud of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror that I think was the show figure from Crisis 2016 that chum James sent over to me last year.

A very nice sculpt that cleaned up very easily and took only a short while to paint. I tried to restrict the pallet so the light blue base for the embroidered gown is the same light blue as the veil covering her hair.

Finally a base of pheasants from Warbases that Victoria gifted me over the festive season, like all the Warbases livestock it's a cleanly cast collection that paints up very easily.


A lovely assortment of figures, Paul, and made even more special as they all originated from friends and loved ones. 

The planking and pale are a great touch with the 'Dulce et decorum est' piece and I really like the simple elegance of the Medieval maiden (great choice of colours), but I have to say I'm strangely taken by the pheasants. I think may I need some of those to help tart-up my future command bases.

All of these will help you chip away on multiple fronts in the Squirrel Challenge. Excellent work.

From SimonM: "Lucid Eye Publications" Yewan Grove The Treeman (7 Points)

This 45mm tall "white metal figure" is produced by “Lucid Eye Publications” and can be brought from the company's "Toon Realms" range. Sculpted by Trish Carden, and suitably Treebeard-like in appearance, I thought this miniature would make an excellent leading tree herder for my current 'Lord Of The Toons' project.

Initially primed with a double layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, the Ent was 'immersed' in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and later dry-brushed using (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, as well as (the somewhat lighter) "Vallejo" Heavy Brown. I then 'picked out' Yewan's marvellously leafy beard with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

The ancient creature's eyes were 'dotted' using a tiny spot of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre". Whilst the fungi found living on his arms and back, were treated to a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. The Treeman's two toadstools were painted in a similar fashion, albeit their stalks were pigmented using a little "Vallejo" Dead White and Pale Grey.

Finally "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade were applied to Grove's spear, and some Heavy Bluegrey to the weapon's tip. As I wanted to show that this 'sharp point' was actually made of stone as opposed to wood, I washed it with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and then carefully dry-brushed around its edges with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. 


What a terrific figure to head your hedge of saplings. I love his leafy beard and that baleful yellow-orange eye. The sharp blue stone heading his spear is a great counterpoint (excuse the pun) to the subtle tones of the figure. Very nice.

Due to his larger size I'm going to score him as a 40mm figure. Well done Simon!

From AlexS: Ancient Warriors (497 Points)

Hello everyone, my name is Alex and I from Russia. Soon the most important holiday for my country is the New Year. We will rest for a whole week, gather with our families and visit each other. Therefore, I decided to make a large number of miniatures and give myself a rest.

Today I present to your attention a few miniatures for the period of antiquity. They are made for the game by the wonderful rules of Simon Miller "To the Strongest".

First, four legionary squads and a very courageous hero.

Secondly - the replenishment of Pyrrhus in my army - archers, light and medium infantry, cavalry, and again very brave heroes.

Finally, third, strange. Two military vehicles - a catapult and a battering ram, which will be used in scenarios where it will be necessary to make a sortie from the besieged city. Chariot of the Celts. I specifically put a dog on the base, because I know that among the participants of the event there are many dog lovers. Next - a detachment of female gladiators. This is completely unhistorical for the period in which we usually play, but my friend from Moscow, Konstantin, made delightful miniatures and I made a squad of them. Well, the last base - to display the camp of some Hellenistic army (maybe Ptolemy).

General view:

And here is a general photo of my collection of ancient armies. These are Rome, Celts, Italians, Greeks and Hellenistic warriors. Most of these miniatures are painted during past Challenges, and I want to say thanks to Curt, who holds this event, to thank the minions who have worked with me in past years - Greg, James and Michael, you were very attentive and kind to me, and thanks to everyone, who took and takes part in this event, you inspire me with your work.

Inf: 80x5=400
Cav: 4x10=40
War machine: 2x10= 20
Chariot (as vehicle)= 20

total: 480 points


Whoa! Well, it had to happen sooner or later: The first of the point nukes have been dropped! 

Absolutely amazing work Alex. I love the potpourri of periods on display here. My favourites have to be the Republican Romans and the dog with the charioteer (yes, count me amongst the unrepentant dog lovers in the crowd). 

As to points everything looks great, but I scored the chariot body as a vehicle and then separately add the various crew and animals. So, 37 points for the chariot unit (including a couple points for the loyal pooch).

Stonking work Alex! Now, go and enjoy the New Year!

From MartinC: 15mm Classical Indian Army plus Alice (155 Points)

After a very nice Christmas with the family and utterly butchering my diet I'm back at the desk. My main Christmas present from the family was a 15mm Classical Indian Army, Essex Miniatures and 2nd hand. So I spent a day prepping some of the figures and have painted up a few of them

The bulk of any Indian army are the archers. These are really easy to paint. Essex aren't the best figures but they are perfectly serviceable and I will add some posher Forged in Battle and Xyston figures as officers etc.

These archers are 4 to a 40x40mm. These means I can use them for almost all rules systems

Hard to add some detail but looking at these again I think that I may highlight some of the white on the loincloth to make them pop more. The tufts are Tajimal are essential 

In total I have painted 15 bases and have another 9 to go to finish the archers

 Whilst archers are the backbone of the army it is the elephants that provide the headbut. This army has many

These figures are nice, not overly dynamic but well sculpted

Painting the designs on the blanket and the elephant is fun and will get better as I get used to it

I've been painting other stuff, 1st two bonus rounds are completed (ish). But I have 3 main tasks for this years challenge, these Indians, complete my Norman army and sort out the bits and pieces that I need to finish off parts of my collection.

So I have a sprue of female zombie hunters that I picked up at a bargain price from Warlord and will be painting these during the challenge. First up is Alice, she was chased out of her trailer when the zombies took over, although I'm surprised anybody noticed the change on the trailer park

She's not a woman to mess with

Although she does look a bit like a drag queen

So on to the points

1x28mm = 5
60 x 15mm foot = 120
2 elephants = 6 crew = 12 plus the elephants which I've classed as vehicles so another 16
giving a grand total of 153 pts.


Don't feel too bad Martin, I think many of us had our 'daily dietary requirements' pummelled into submission by repeated festive feasts. Personally, I feel like an overstuffed but content walrus.

Nice Christmas haul with the Indian army!  The archers' monopose is covered nicely in that, by necessity, they all have to take the same pose to do their job. They look excellent all mobbed together in their formations. Elephants are always a crowd-pleaser and these don't disappoint.  I like the hand-painted blanket patterns on the elephants' tack.

I think the French would term Alice as, 'enorme formidable'.  Hey, she might be from the wrong side of the tracks, but with that RPG we can clearly see that this woman knows how to accessorise. The 'classy' tattoo is a nice touch as well (I had written something else, but the manners my mother hard-wired into me made me delete it). :)

With a few pips added for the bespoke blankets, that puts this entry at a very tidy 155 points. Lovely work Martin!

From PaulOG: Goblin Auxiliary Troops (30 points)

I'm working through my main AHPC project of 15mm DAK but I must admit to being challenged by the shift in scale and I'm still trying to paint them like they are 28mm figs - thus I'm not progressing as hoped. Time for a quick and dirty, morale boosting side project!

(Dux: I promise that all shields in this unit were hand painted)
Here is a small Goblin scout unit intended for Dragon Rampant.  They are older LOTR Moria Goblins with Oathmark Shields swapped in.  I've based them in an experimental 3-2-1 formation for dioramic effects and reduce figure movement while still allowing the exact number of casualties to be removed.

They will join my longer term "Romanised Orcs" project which is a bit of fun and may see some other units during the challenge. Orci Invicti!

Goblin Auxiliaries alongside the Orc Legionaries I painted prior to the Challenge
Thats 6 x 28mm figs = 30 points added to my paltry 2 points thus far!


Ha! 'Romanized Orcs' indeed. I think these greenskins are excellent, Paul, and especially like how their red jerkins and shields contrast against your snow-swept tundra terrain. Very eye catching. I also like your idea of 'making change' with the base compositions - a great idea for skirmish troops which typically don't need to be as formed up as their heavier line cousins. 

A well-earned 30 points for your efforts, Paul - Nicely done!